Monday, September 15, 2003

GOOD MOVE BY BUSH: Reuters is reporting that the Bush administration has decided to block some funds of the $9 billion package of U.S. loan guarantees to Israel, because of continued settlement activities in Palestinian territories. Even though it does not mention what settlement(s), my best guess would be the Ariel settlement that lies deep inside the West Bank, which houses around 20,000 Jewish settlers at the moment. I applaud Bush for taking this step, even if it's simply following what the legislation instructs. I can imagine how hard it is to satisfy both the Zionists in Israel and in the South (better known as Tom Delay's constituency).

Also, under consideration is to cut more if Sharon keeps building his wall inside Palestinian territory to protect his beloved settlements. I hope he follows up on it. Israel, being the welfare state that it is, needs the money especially in these days, when the economy is not at its best.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on Monday it would withhold some funds from Israel because of its settlement activities in Palestinian areas. But the administration said it has yet to decide whether to penalize Israel over construction of a security fence, which President Bush called "a problem" for U.S. efforts to build trust between Israelis and Palestinians.

The deductions would come from a $9 billion package of U.S. loan guarantees to help Israel weather a deep recession and fiscal crisis stemming in large part from the three-year-old Palestinian militant revolt against Israel for independence. An administration official said the dollar-amounts for any deductions have yet to be determined.
(Hat tip: The Agonist)

UPDATE: Brian Ulrich comments:
Similar actions by the first President Bush helped push Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir out of office and helped the Oslo peace process get moving, and one hopes this will have a similar result, forcing Israel to at least not make the situation worse for the Palestinians than it already is.

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